20.11.06

On Bush's life as a series of failures

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - The danger of a 'dignified' exit from Iraq:

Sooner or later, failure has a way of stripping most of us of our dreams and pretensions. So let's start with a tiny history of failure. President George W Bush's life trajectory of failing upward has had a rhythm to it - and a rubric, "crony capitalism". Daddy's friends and contacts helped him into and - after he failed - out of the oil business, into and out of the baseball business, into and now, it seems, out of the failed game of global politics.

'His is,' as the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish and John Aloysius Farrell put it in 2002, 'the story of a man who struck out numerous times before being bailed out by big hitters who often were family members, friends or supporters of his father.'

It's appropriate, then, that the man who bailed him out in Florida when he in essence lost the presidency in 2000, Bush family consigliere Baker, would reappear six years later, in the wake of another failed election, to bail him out again now that he has screwed up the oil heartlands of the planet. Daddy - we're talking here about former president George H W Bush - has three adopted boys: his former national security adviser (and alter ego) Brent Scowcroft, who went into opposition to the younger Bush's Iraq policy even before the invasion of 2003 and now lurks quietly in the wings; his former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Gates; and Baker.

Like Daddy, Gates was deeply involved in, but never indicted for, his dealings in the scurrilous Iran-Contra affair, was later involved in the tilt toward and arming of Saddam Hussein's Iraq against Iran, pioneered fertile territory in the late 1980s in terms of manipulating intelligence in the debate over the nature of Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union, had a hand in the Gulf War of 1991, and most recently held the presidency of Texas A&M University, where he was the keeper of the flame for Daddy's library. Could you ask for a better insider CV for taking over the Pentagon from one of Bush the elder's rivals in the Gerald Ford era, Rumsfeld?"

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